Reggae singer loses his fight against cancer

POPULAR Reggae singer Charlie Massiah
POPULAR Reggae singer Charlie Massiah

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FRIENDS and family of a popular reggae singer have spoken of their sadness at his death.

Charlie Massiah had hundreds of fans who followed his band The Disciples and, in later years, when he worked with The MightyZ Allstars.

Sadly he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in July – despite beating colon cancer six years previously.

The 51-year-old, from Gosport, died at the Countess Mountbatten Hospice, Southampton, on April 27.

Leona Tucker, his partner of five years, said: ‘Charlie was very well known and very popular. He was loved by people from all walks of life.

‘He was lovely, an absolutely amazing person to be with. He loved life and he really put his heart and soul into everything. He greeted everybody with a big smile.

‘Charlie was a great character. He was a real gentleman and he could communicate with all age groups young and old. He touched a lot of people’s hearts.’

Mr Massiah was a talented singer but also had a great passion for football. As a youngster he had trials with Chelsea and Portsmouth but it was his passion for music that won out.

He and his band toured with great reggae acts of the 80s and 90s such as Burning Spear and UB40 and played at venues around the south coast.

He was a regular in Portsmouth clubs the Wedgewood Rooms and South Parade Pier.

Mr Massiah, a father of five, was brought up in Paulsgrove and from a young age showed he had great musical talent.

His proud family have kept many posters, pictures and newspaper clippings of his career. His children Jay, 33, Jamie, 29, Natasha, 23, and twins Sy and Ieesha both 18, will always treasure them.

A bricklayer by trade, Mr Massiah was also the manager of The Fighting Cocks pub football team, in Gosport, which hit the headlines when they went through 13 goalkeepers in the 2005 / 2006 season.

More recently he had been coaching the under-six and sevens team at Gosport Football Club.

Daughter Natasha, said: ‘He was a lovely, warm man. He would walk into a room and make it glow. We are all totally devastated but we’ve got to remember his legacy and treasure it.’

The funeral was held at Portchester Crematorium on Monday.